The Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan

Today I learned about the Shikoku Pilgrimage, a famous pilgrimage route that circles the island of Shikoku in Japan.

  • Temples: The route covers 88 “official” temples.
  • Founder: Associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai, founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.
  • Distance: It spans approximately 1,200 kilometers.
  • Purpose: While many do it for spiritual reasons, others undertake the journey for personal or cultural exploration.
  • Pilgrims: Known as henro, they often wear traditional white clothing and carry wooden walking sticks.
  • Modes of Travel: Historically done on foot, but nowadays many use cars, buses, or bicycles.
  • Completion: Finishing the route is seen as a significant spiritual and physical achievement.